A fresh new year--2018--is here and everyone is stressed about deciding on what their New Year's resolutions will be. Many people try to work out more, lose weight, eat healthier or be happier. But, the issue with most of these is not the idea itself, but the reason behind why we’re doing it. Oftentimes, people tackle resolutions to look more like the people on social media, please someone else or just because they think they, too, need a resolution. These reasons won't help you to stick to your goal because they aren’t things you want personally; they’re more intended to impress other people. So, you have to find resolutions that are meaningful to you. Here are a few ideas:
1. Make time for yourself.
We’re all guilty of saying "yes" to everything and spreading ourselves too thin. Say "no" a few times and start setting aside 10-15 minutes a day to relax and read a book, drink some tea, stretch or meditate. It will be good for you to decompress and de-stress. Take an extra few minutes in the shower to appreciate the warmth or maybe just sit in the car and sing along to the radio for an extra three minutes. Whatever makes you feel better, do that.
2. Drink more water.
Drinking water is a common resolution. But, where most people fall short is not making it easily accessible. Buy a water bottle or two and leave one on your desk or in your backpack. Leave another near the couch or car or somewhere you spend a lot of time. There are even apps that can remind you to drink more water and keep track of how much you’re drinking throughout the day.
3. Go to bed earlier.
I’m so guilty of staying up late scrolling through the Internet or e-mails on my phone. In all reality, I’d get an extra half hour or even an hour of sleep if I cut this out of my life. Not only will I get more sleep, but I’ll fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly with less blue-light exposure before bedtime.
4. Turn off excessive notifications.
Silence those apps that send you notifications that you ignore every day. There is no point in getting extra notifications and everytime my phone buzzes, I usually spend an extra few minutes clicking around on it when I could be doing something productive. As a blanket solution, you can even turn on "Do Not Disturb." Alarms still work and if someone really needs you, they’ll call you and they’ll at least call twice. That’s when your phone will start ringing.
5. Go outside more.
Living in MInnesota, many of us stay inside at all costs during the winter months. But going outside, getting a little sun and feeling a little bit of a painful breeze can be a great way to relax. To encourage myself to do this, I often take a quick ride to one of our hundreds of local parks. It’s so nice to get off campus and away from all of the noise for a little bit.
6. Pick up some trash.
Clean up clutter in your home, car or even on your street or local beach. Cleaning up trash will help you to declutter your mind and your surroundings, making you more calm and relaxed. And, cleaning up your local street, park or beach will make you feel really good.
7. Get a cute journal and use it.
Make lists and stop worrying so much about forgetting things. Write down your feelings or what happened that day or week. Maybe even start a bullet journal. Just write down things that you want to get out of your mind, whether it be a reminder or an emotion or thought.
8. Listen to new music.
Music speaks to everyone in so many different ways. But, the radio gets so boring playing the same five songs over and over again. Do yourself a favor and just start searching around the internet. Discover new songs you love and new songs you hate, share with friends or keep it to yourself. We all hear things differently and music affects us differently depending on how we feel or what we listen for. Find what you need and discover new things. It will feel pretty cool to share new songs with friends.
9. Tell the people you love that you love them more often.
We all need a reminder sometimes that someone cares and loves us. Remind your friends and family of it often. It will make you feel good and it will make them feel even better.
10. Remember what’s truly important in life.
Sometimes we all get so caught up in the mundane everyday tasks that we forget to make ourselves happy. Set goals and smash them. Make time to do what you really love and stop wasting time on what you don't. We’re all only here for such a short period of time; there truly is no time to waste being unhappy.
New Year's Resolutions can be stressful, but they can also be wonderful. Plan ahead and set yourself up for success. Create goals that matter to you. It’s really hard to change your life overnight, but with some planning, it can be easy to stick to new positive, happy changes. And, even if you didn't prepare for January 1, you can start your resolution in a week or a month. Whenever you're ready and feel set up for success. Go out in the world and make it a more beautiful and happy place; 2018 is waiting!